Everyone gets angry once in a while, but experiencing occasional anger does not necessarily mean you have an anger problem. Anger is a natural response to threats like annoyance, hurt, and frustrations. It can be a healthy emotion if it helps you find peace or closure.
However, if you experience anger outbursts frequently and can’t control angry feelings, you might have an anger management problem.
Uncontrolled anger can disrupt your everyday life and even lead to relationship problems. While everyone feels angry from time to time, studies show that over 7% of Americans experience anger to a severe degree.
This article looks at the physical and emotional symptoms of anger management issues. Keep reading to learn how to control anger.
Types of Anger Problems
There are several ways of expressing anger. These include:
This type of anger is deeply rooted in the individual. It’s often bottled up inside, and other people are unable to see it. Inward anger commonly causes self-loathing, thoughts of self-harm, and negative self-talk.
Inward anger is basically that voice in your head that keeps telling you, “you’re not good enough,” or constantly reminds you of past mistakes.
Outward anger is what comes to most people’s minds when they think about anger issues. This typically includes aggressive behavior, angry outbursts, cursing, breaking things, and crying.
Passive anger is a little less evident than the other two types. Passive anger refers to passive-aggressiveness. A passive aggressive person may be angry about something but does not openly show it, instead they might mutter something under their breath or say something that expresses their anger, but then play it off as a joke.
Symptoms of Anger Problems
Because anger is a normal emotion, being angry now and then is not a cause for alarm. However, angry outbursts, passive-aggressive behavior, and inward anger might have severe consequences.
Here are the most common emotional and physical symptoms of anger issues:
People with anger management issues will often have clear physical signs of anger. For instance, they might start shaking, tingling, getting pumped up, or even foaming at the sides of their mouths.
They may also engage in explosive outbursts, where they could become involved in physical fights or damage property.
Shallow breathing is another physical sign of anger issues. Anger triggers your adrenaline, which is one of your body’s fight or flight mechanisms. If you’re constantly out of breath during arguments, you probably have trouble controlling anger.
If you have problems managing anger, you’ll be irritated by some of the most minute things. You might also have specific anger triggers, such as someone talking about your favorite sports team, people calling you by your nickname, or other seemingly minor issues
Angry Verbal Outbursts
Uncontrolled anger often leads to a sort of mental health disorder involving dramatic shifts in mood, disruptive behavior, and constant aggression. If you have anger management problems, you’ll often curse at people in traffic, throw objects, shout at animals, or even punch walls.
If you have anger management issues, you might find yourself expressing anger because you have trouble communicating your emotions when something is wrong. You might feel like this gives you some type of control over the situation.
High Blood Pressure
Hypertensive people experience increased blood pressure during angry outbursts. This can lead to serious health risks such as heart attack and stroke. If you notice signs of high blood pressure when you’re angry, you might need to take some anger management classes.
If you have an anger management problem, you’ll often find yourself being sarcastic, degrading others, or giving them “the silent treatment.” While you might pass these actions off as jokes, they might come from deep-rooted anger issues.
Anger issues can also cause a wide range of mental health issues such as depression, self-loathing and dark thoughts. If you often feel guilty or worthless after an angry outburst, you might have an anger management problem.
What Causes Anger Issues?
Anger is a secondary emotion. As a result, you should take a few moments after an outburst to evaluate the situation that led you there. Most of the time, anger is caused by:
- Frustration from problems like financial issues.
- Hurt, like when you feel that you’ve been betrayed.
- Underlying mental health conditions like trauma, depression or bipolar disorder.
- Unmet expectations from loved ones or life in general.
- Sadness such as dealing with loss.
While these are some of the leading causes of anger, almost anything can trigger anger when you have no control over your emotions.
What Can I Do to Deal With Anger Issues?
Anger issues can lead to severe physical and mental health problems. They can also jeopardize your relationships with your loved ones. It’s therefore essential to learn how to maintain control over your anger.
Below are some of the things you can do to combat an anger problem:
Express Your Anger Constructively
Expressing anger is an integral part of dealing with anger problems. If you bottle up your emotions, it turns into inward anger, then passive aggression, and eventually morphs into an outburst.
Try to express your anger calmly using your words instead of loud outward expressions that can turn physical.
Sometimes laughter is the best medicine for anger issues. For instance, if you feel angry when people call you a certain nickname, you can try embracing it and laughing with them. While they might not stop using it, you will find it less infuriating once you use it yourself.
Holding on to negative feelings only increases your chances of having explosive outbursts. It’s important to let go of old grudges and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
Avoid Substance Abuse
Substance and alcohol abuse can be a trigger for people with anger issues. It’s therefore important to stay sober as you learn how to control your anger.
Know When to Seek Professional Help
The most important step towards recovery is knowing when to ask for help. If anger issues are affecting your day-to-day routines, it might be time to take anger management classes. You can also talk to a mental health professional and evaluate your treatment options.
Anger can be treated using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), and mindfulness techniques. A licensed mental health professional will help you develop strategies to deal with intense emotional moments so that you can keep your cool.
Overcome Your Anger Issues Today
Anger management disorders can make you miserable. You should, therefore, look out for warning signs like frequent outbursts, verbal and physical abuse, or even thoughts of self-harm.
If you realize that you have severe anger symptoms, try to trace the aggression’s source. Speaking to someone who has attended anger management classes is a great place to start. You can also talk to mental health professionals for a long-lasting solution.
If your anger leads you to thoughts of self-harm, you can use these hotlines to seek professional help.